University Archives


Anna Crouch, Actress & Mistress of the Prince Regent, Miniature Painting

An oval hand-painted miniature, measuring 2.75" x 3.25", no place, undated. A slip on the back of the portrait is stamped with the date August 23, 1920. A beautiful portrait of Anna Marie Crouch, with a large, blonde coiffure and dressed in a white and blue gown. Mrs. Crouch is captured in a thoughtful pose, with her right hand and forefinger resting on her cheek. The miniature is framed in a small gold frame, measuring 4.75" x 6" overall. On the frame verso are 2-3 newspaper clippings about the young actress. A clipping reads in part: "Anna Maria Crouch, celebrated for her beauty, her symmetrical person, her fascinating manners, and her pure taste as an actress and vocalist. She was remarkably clever…" At the top of the frame on verso, in an unknown hand, is written "Mrs. Crouch." The painting has bright colors and minimal to no fading. Toning, soiling, and chipping to the clippings on verso, with some text loss. Light wear and rubbing to the frame and brass hardware.

Anna Maria Crouch (1763-1805) was a stage actress and singer who began her career as a young child. She made her debut at the Drury Lane theatre in London in 1780, and became a regular in the company. She married a naval lieutenant in 1784 but soon began an affair with her stage partner, Irish actor Michael Kelly. She also had a brief affair with the Prince of Wales, who, it its rumored, settled £10,000 on her when the affair ended. She died in 1805 and is buried at St Nicholas of Myra Church in Brighton. After her death, Kelly commissioned a memorial monument to be erected at the church in her honor.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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